AA Speaker Recordings - Rocketed.org
AA Speaker Recordings - Rocketed.org

Episode 41 · 1 year ago

Russell S at There Is A Solution group - Step 10 - Growing to not-upsettable

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Russell S at There Is A Solution Group, NJ

...soult spats if you hear a phone in the background. My home phone just started ringing. It raining, so I think I'll wait till they stop. It's probably some political call or stam called or something like that, but it's good to be how I remember the Celtics the group, and I haven't found that started to have a drink since, nor have I owed I had that. Have I had a drink since January twenty five, one thousand nine hundred and eighty one, and it's always good for me to be in an a mean. That's a privilege to ever, whenever anybody as you to share it in a meeting and I'll I'll try to do my best to tell the truth. We'll see how that goes. I was told long time ago the in order to give a good a mean you just have to be sincere and once you learn how to fake that, you got it made. So what is the you know the old story age like a giant toolbox as a wrenched to it every nut that walks through the door. So I don't know that I'll be arrenched. I'm as signed. Tonight I'm supposed to talk about step ten. I've been debating on whether I should do that. You know, don't get your hope something. You know, keep your expectations. Well, I about in two thousand and six I remember I was doing a step series at a group, I can't remember the twelve Stephouse, and I was supposed to do step eight and I just gotten back from Greensboro, North Carolina, and I was debating on whether I should do step eight I should talk about my trip to Greensborough, and for some reason the spirit moved me to talk about my trip to Greensboro and I think that was I think that that talk I gave him two thousand and eight was six. Was Probably, in my mind, one of the one of the most honest and sincere talks I've ever given, and it was just something that Lord put on my heart to talk to the group about. And so I pretty more I'll apply apologize to you right now. We don't spend a lot of time on ten. I probably will, but but I really I don't plan these things. I don't have any can stuff. I just sort of talk about what I think God wants me to talk about. I pray about that stuff. So I look at the ten step differently now. I'll have if I don't drink, I'll have I'm seventy one years old. I live in Miami self supporting through my own contributions. Fork. Let me see, I have four kids, seven grandkids and if I don't drink in January I'll have forty years. And so I've been doing this for a while and and my, my, my perception and ideas about this program have changed in the last forty years. I don't know, as your per set, have your perceptions changed about yourself in the program in the many, in the years that you've been sober and and it's just the way it is. You know, how does it say our perceptions change? It says through repeated humiliations and the final crushing of our self sufficiency, we learned the value of suffering. And that pretty much describes what's been going on with me just just thirty nine years plus of going through trials and tribulations and never, never, never, take my eye off the prize. In my taste, the prize has always been God, whether I knew I was looking at God or not. Sometimes I was looking at my sponsor, but I was still actually looking at God and following directions and not in the most important thing my life is always been not drinking. That's the deal and that's got to be the most important thing. Maybe that's why this, the first stepisode important, because when you come a day at least, when I'm talking about myself, I'm not talking about you, but when I came da I'm an...

...alcoholic. You know, the drinking was really the easiest thing to give up and I thought drinking was the problem, and indeed it was the problem. And of course I came day because I couldn't stop drinking and I thought my life was over. I was thirty one years old. I thought I'd never get better again, and I came tolcoholics anonymous, and I got down to my knees and I gave my life. Well, I gave the drinking to God. I had become entirely ready to have God, have any anything coming to my life and stop me stop the drinking. I was willing to go to any lengths. You know, I have a lot of people that actually contact me over the years and they tell me they want to stop drinking and I'll say to him, I'll say this. I'll say, well, well, I'm going, I'm doing a meeting tonight. Won't you show up the meeting and they won't show up. That used to disappoint me when alcoholics tell you they want to do something and then you say okay, we'll just show up and they don't show up. But used to disappoint me. But I know that. I know that if you want to stop, if you really want to stop, general generally, show up. You know, talk is cheap and I wanted to stop, so I showed up. That's all I can tell. I followed directions. I think, maybe for alcoholics who are rationalizers like me and they tell themselves rationalize, or maybe they still think they have a little running room so they can manage their their lives and second guess themselves and second guests their sponsors and and manage their own life. Maybe, maybe they I guess it's difficult to follow directions. But when you get to the point in your life where you think their life is over, and it's never the jumping off place, what does it say envision for you here and then once in a while a drinker, being dried at the moment, says feel better, look better, having a better time. We laugh at such sally. You know he'll try the old game again because he's not happy with his sobriety. No, soon he'll no. Loneliness is if you do, you know he'll wish for the end, the jumping off place. I got to jumping off place, so I know that's all about. And I got the point where where I wanted to I thought I would never be better again, and so I was willing to follow directions. And you know, when you come into alcoholics anonymous, and you're crazy and you're insane and your self destructive, what a commentagers say about alcoholics. Their men and women are out to destroy themselves. When you come into Aya and your self destructive and you're suffering from and your selfish and your self centered and you're driven by a hundred forms of fear and self delusion, because you make decisions based upon self and you and you're defiant. That's your chief characteristic, it's very, very hard to follow directions. But I was beating down enough so that I I may not have understood a lot, but I know I didn't want to drink. And so when you come day A and you're a you're a crazy, and you run into people who aren't crazy, the old timers I ran into, they'll sometimes that you to do some crazy stuff and I would. I would follow their directions even though I didn't understand why I was doing it. You know, one of the stories I tell to give an example of that is the story when I had about three months sobriety and and I found out I had some money problems. I don't know whether I don't know anybody here has ever had been concerned about money. It's not important. It is just right up there with oxygen and and for the first ten or fifteen years I worry a lot about money. I kept on wondering when that promise, you know that promised this few people in economic and secure a Lego was looking for that...

...promise. And so I was about three months sober and I didn't have any money in the bank and I had a wife and wanted two kids at home and I hadn't paid the mortgage in about two months and I was I was worried and I wasn't going to tell anybody in the group. I wasn't going to share it in the group because I didn't want anybody to know that, you know, the big shot attorney didn't have any money. And and so I I went up to my sponsor and I said Bob, and I told him the whole story about not having money and how I was broken, how I thought I was gonna be evicted with my wife and kids out of the street, and he looked at me after listening to me for a while about the money problem, and he said, he said, you know, I understand. I think I have the solution for you. I said really, he said, Oh yeah, absolutely. He said, I think it's about time you start making coffee for the group. And now I'm not too bright, but I started thinking. I said, I'm not I'm not sure we're actually having a conversation here. I'm not sure this man. Now let me explain something to you. I graduated department of Honors in Mathematics. I took all the post graduate math courses. I was going to be a math professor and and I was going for my PhD in Algebraic topology and I decided to go to law school and I went to law school instead and I have been with the vision chief from the states attorney's office. I think I tried about twenty one murders before my twenty twenty, twenty seventh birthday and I thought I was pretty sharp, I knew everything and I was supposed to be sponsored by Albert Einstein or Jesus, but they weren't around. So they gave me this used car salesman who hadn't even graduated sixth grade. And and I was in no position to argue with him because I came with alcoholics, anonymous. I had two neurons working and they were waving good bye to each other. And so I so this guy's this is the guy who was in my office until the stories of my office one day and I point to the degrees on my wall, and I say Bob, because I had this wall full of degrees which proved I was educated far beyond my capacity to understand anything. I pointed to my degrees on the one I said. I said, Bob, these are my degrees, and without missing to be he looked at me said, well, you know, rust rectal thermometers have degrees. You know they do with those. So that pretty much sums up my sponsors and how they used to talk to me. I had a sponsor named Joe Snyder, and every time Joe was going to lay on me a very profound piece of information that he thought I used, I needed to know, he would always start off the conversation by saying something like this. Now, listen, stupid and sort of like, I know there was something important coming up that he wanted me to listen to. So I wasn't molly colleague, you know, and molly coddled, whatever that is. So so I said to him all about this money stuff and my worries and he said, well, I think I have the answer few I think it's about time you started making coffee for the group. And quite frankly, I saw no connection and increasing my bank account or paying the mortgage and making coffee for the group. I mean, I got I got to be honest with you. I really didn't see a connection. And but I was so I had not had a drink in three months and, more than anything, I didn't want to drink again. And I somehow had connected in my mind that my not drinking had something to do with listening to my sponsor. And so he watched me over to the coffee and I started it can coffee and he showed me how to make the coffee and he said now tomorrow I'd Russell, you got to get here about half an hour earlier and you got to set up the tables in the chairs and you got to make the coffee for the group. So the next night came and no...

...money had come in and I was very, very depressed. You know, alcoholics never get just the press. We get very, very depressed. And I was very, very depressed and I didn't want to go to a meeting because I was too depressed to go to a meeting. And but I had to go to the meeting because I had to make the flipping coffee and how to make the coffee. So I went to a meeting and I made the coffee and the meeting was a good meeting and I felt better after the meeting. I made the coffee for that meeting for three months and somehow all the money came in and I didn't have to kill myself and everything worked out. And I remember some guy came up to me after the meeting and three months and said I'll make the coffee. I said I'm the Coffee Baker. Who the hell made you the Coffee Baker? And I made coffee of that group for eighteen months and and it is true. You know, intensive work with alcoholics. Experiences shown that intend to work with alcoholics will help keep you sober and and that's what I've been to. So I was doing this by the numbers and following and following directions. I actually think that a lot of this thing has to do with following directions and doing what you're told, doing what you're told. You know, and I once asked my sponsor, I said because I was sponsoring people. You know, it's a kick. You want to find out about this disease. Hey, you want to find out about this disease. You really want to find out about alcoholics. You want to find out about yourself. Sponsor people, sponsor a lot of people. You know you'll find out a lot about alcoholics. So I wanted to one of my sponsors, Joe Snyder, and I said, Joe, what do you do when when an alcohol doesn't do what you ask him to do? I actually sponsored alcoholics at times that would not do what I asked them to do and used to bother me, and I said what do you do if you have an alcohol can he doesn't do what you what you ask him to do, and he says, well, I just some them to do whatever the heck he wants to do, because they're going to do whatever the hell they want to do anyway. Don't get your panties in a Snit, you know what I mean. And and that's the deal. So, you know, all you can do is try to carry the message. You can't carry the message, and I'm so over the period of years we've got two great things going for us in AA. The first great thing we have going for us is alcohol. A's like a giant toolbox. I mean every I don't know, every every six months to a year, alcohol sort of comes through and wipes out all the bullshit. I mean, nobody gets away with it. Every every year or so, every two years or so, alcohol comes through, just like, just like a whole flock of locusts and all the I'm not going to do that and you can't tell me what to do and I've got my program. You got your program and you know I'm different and I'm you don't understand. And it just wipes them all out, you know what I mean? And then they come back in and they say this time I'm really going to do it, and wipes them out again, you know, and until they get the picture, repeat the humiliations, then the final crushing of our selfsufficiency. And so the only thing I can tell you about staying sober for a long period of time is you just get to be humiliated more times for a longer period of time, which has something to do with learning, learning your lesson, learning a lesson, because I'm one of the things. I had my sponsors. What did I say to Bob once? I said I know what you're doing, you're trying to brainwash me. Says, well, maybe your brain needs washing, you know, and that kind of stuff. So I did all that, did the steps in the third step, fourth step, all the steps, and so I look at the tent step a little differently, and let me go. I'll try to explain you how I look at it now. I mean for many, many years, I've got to be on. I'm going to try to be honest here and we'll see where that goes. I'm going to try to be honest with you all. From many, many years, my life was all about the tenth...

...step. Quite frankly, if I was to be honest with you right now, I think I'm more focus right now on the on the sixth and seventh step. They call that them old timer steps, and I sort under stand why. To repeated, repeatedly over a life. Then they say. They say the sixth step is about the man who's trying to grow, who's become entirely ready to have God remove anything that stands, anything, it stands in the way of his relationship with God. And of course, the the Big Book and the Twelve and twelve talks about health. We want to be rocketed in the fourth dimension of existence of which we had not even dreamed. He says the great fact is this and nothing less, that God has to become the central fact of our lives and we have to be convinced, without doubt, convinced that he lives in our hearts and minds in a way which is a deed miraculous, and that he's doing for us what we can through for ourselves, and that that's seeking the Lord and seek and being convinced and making God the central fact of our lives. I'll tell you, I'm just talking about me. This is my deal. That doesn't happen because your three months sober and you get down your knees and say the third step prayer. That does you don't become convinced that God is going to work in your life and that he's living in your heart in your mind. You don't become convinced of that because your whold hands are a mean and say the Lord's prayer. You may become convinced for an anal second or five minutes or so, but as soon as again your car start driving way you stopped wearing it, you start worrying about the bank account. Anyway. It takes many, many I can tell you this. It took me many, many, many years to be convinced. You know that part in the big book where it says there is no middle of the road solution. It's right. After the great fact is this and nothing less. The next paragraph is there is no man, there's no middle of the road solution. No Russell. You cannot be you havenr and Jesus Christ at the same time. No Russell. You cannot focus on God and focus on having a yacht with a whole bunch of Babes in it. No Russell. That's not the way it goes. You have to be convinced that God is the most important thing. See to it your relationship with him is right, and great events will come to pass to you and countless others. You're on a new basis, the basis of trusting and relying upon God. Trusting relying upon God, you never you never apologize for God. You never apologize for God. All men of courage have faith. They trust their God. You just let him demonstrate in your life what he's doing. I got to tell you something. I understand now why they say twice in the big book that you never apologize for God. I go to a lot of meetings with people who are apologizing for God, apologizing from empty mentioning God, trying to Figot all sorts of ways not to mention the word God, all sorts of sort of like slang or something like that. So they don't mention God because they're more worried about what other people going to think about it if they talk about God too much. I understand that. I can tell you this, and this is just for my own point of view and my own opinion. If you ever worry and alcoholics anonymous where they talk about God all the time, where they say where they talk about above everything. We must get rid of this selfishness. We must get rid of this true alcoholism, the selfishness that sends your mind, not your body. We must, or kills us. God makes that possible. Once you make that decision for God, the true, sincere decision. All sorts of remarkable things happen. Being all powerful, but give you everything you need if you stay close to me and performance. WHO HIS WORKS? Well, you know. But what happens if we can't meet you? What if we can't see you and we're not can't hang around you? We cannot be sure of that. God will decide that, but you must remember that you're real. Your real reliance has to always be on him. He will even show you how to create the fellowship you crave. You know, when you're in alcoholics anonymous with that material and that's our basic text, and you have a problem talking about God. It makes you uncomfortable. You worry what other people in Aa are going to speak about, to think about. You've talked about God. I want to...

...give you a little clue, just a little hint. I could be wrong about this. Don't, don't ever, don't ever be surprised that you're not. You're not. Experience that promise, the promise you'll lose fear of people. For those of you who want to lose fear of people, free for those of you who want to live a life where you're not afraid of people's judgments. For those of you who have actually, after many years of a shown the spotlight on your prison, you know you can't. You know one of the things they say is the first step in getting out of jails you got to know your jet you're in jail in the first place. For many years I was in an alcoholic jail that I busted out of that yell only to find out I was a jail of seeking other people's approval. I was in a jail because I because I don't know about you, but I find most people, include myself, have a very low opinion of themselves. I don't give a crap how many times you tell yourself your grade or you don't know who you're dealing with, or all that other stuff we say. I don't care what other people think of me. And my personal feeling about the alcoholics that I've seen in my own alcoholism is most alcoholics don't really think they're worthy or they're they're up to the task. They just have this this inter feeling that just not it just not good enough, that just something wrong. You know, and you know when you live a life and you're constantly and you're ashamed of yourself, when you're ashamed of yourself, when you're worried about whether people actually ever find out exactly who you are and what you are, when you live that sort of life, that sets up a really bad way of seeing things and dealing with people. First of all, you got to spend a lot of money you don't have buying things you don't need to impress people you don't like. You got to constantly try to impress people, constantly try to do something or get something in your life, outside of you, so that you could be okay. I think the worst thing in I think it's such a horrible thing to go through life with that kind of bondage, to have an inter feeling of being worthless and feeling that you have to do something, to perform something or be something or have something or own something so that people will think you're okay, because you really have no interfeeling that you're okay in yourself. The only time you feel you're okay is if other people tell you they think you're okay. I think it's such a horrible, horrible existence. I think that's really the true alcoholism. That's the alcoholism that lives on for ten, fifteen, twenty, thirty years after, stop drinking. The drinkings you're not really the disease. The drinking allows you for a time to think that you're superman superwoman. Okay, but the drinking is not really the disease. The disease, you know, lives alive in my body and and that's the bottom line with me, and the only way I've ever been able to get out of it is by focusing on God and listening to my sponsors, and all my sponsors the only thing they've ever done is giving me directions to do things that got me closer to God. And that's the deal. So I work the steps and that's my story. And so the ten step has been a really was, a really, really big part of my life. As I say, I'm mostly focused on six and seven. And if you're going to focus on six and seven, which talks about, as I said before, growing up and becoming an adult, and Bill Wilson said, the next frontiers emotional sobriety, said alcoholics. He says the real problem with alcoholics is unhealthy dependencies, idola tree, putting other things in the place of God, women, men, romance, money, name it, the things of this world, things you lust after, the things you feel you have to have. You know that's the real that's the real disease, he says. It says. Well, if you get involved in the sixth step, where you're trying to grow in his image and likeness and that becomes the most important thing to you, when the prize, when you when the prize...

...becomes not only not drinking one day at the time, but the real prize becomes trying to know what God wants you to do and do his work and grow in his image and likeness. That, when that becomes a prize, amazing things happen. Carl young set ideas, emotions and attitudes that are the guiding forces of these men's lives are shifted to one side and they become dominated by a whole new set of ideas, emotions and attitudes and some sort of psychic spiritual change happens that you can never do on your own. Because how can I do it on my own? I'm prowess over my drinking. I'm powerless over my thinking. I'm a think Aholic. I'm I'm a selfish Aholic. I can't change me, only God working through me and in we in me can change me, you know, the Holy Spirit. And so the bottom line is I worked on the tent step a lot, because here's the problem. When you have alcoholism, and the way I had alcoholism, and you still operate under the old ideas, because one of the things they say is, I think it's in the big book, that says we have to let go of old ideas or else the result is nail. Don't they say something like that? Don't they say like half measures of LS nothing? You ever hear that said? I think they read it half measure of Eld? How could, how can you go? How can you have the idea, a comprehend the idea that half measures of what value? Nothing, when deep down inside you don't believe it. You really believe, don't really believe that half measures give you a fifty percent? Come on, I know you do. You believe half measures give you a fifty percent, but the big book says half measures a value nothing give you, you know, really give you. It says we must get rid of our old ideas, and he's all this nail. And too we let go. How do you let go absolutely? How do you become to how do you get rid of all doubt. How do you become convinced that God is living in your life when you spend most of your time worrying about your bank account and most of the time worried about what other people think about you? How does that change happen when you become a different human being? I mean, how do you? How do you do? How do you rewire your blank brain and got a whole new model, you know, motherboard in the whole thing. You know, I don't know. The bottom line is. All I know is that as something to do with. Everybody has to. I keep on thinking of the story in the desert, the story in the big and Genesis and accidents in accidents, especially about the Israelites leaving, leaving Egypt. I think that's a really good story. That talks about my alcoholism. I was in Egypt, in Egypt for like what, four hundred years, where it was a four hundred or eight hundred years. They were in Egypt has SLA aves and finally they bust loose from Egypt to go to the Promised Land, and I'm on the way to promised land and they spend forty years trudging through the desert. Forty years trudging through the desert because they were following down like a threeweek journey by foot, and it took him forty years, because they were following God, because God wanted them to march through the desert until every one of them died, and the only people that went in the promised land were people who were born free in the debt, born free in the desert. You know, they got rid of all the people the slave mentality, and somehow my slave mentality has to die and I have to become a free man, and the only thing to do that is I have to walk through that desert of sobriety. You know, what is it that read those repeated humiliations, the final crushing of my self sufficiency, so I can learn the value of pain, value of all those things I can play. Everything I complained about, every problem I had, that I go to a meetings, was propelling me closer to God and changing me and molding me in such a way so that I could be a better instrument to do his will and be of his service. So the reason why I was very proficient, I became very proficient in the tent step, is because I was extremely proficient in screwing up. I was extremely proficient in fucking up. Really it was amazing and apparently, if you're...

...an alcohol you don't get all wonderful all the time at once. And you talk about repeat humiliations. You know, there was still the old man and me. There was still the old deal in me, the old disease. The disease does not want to leave. It is cunning, baffling and power of the disease that you wanted us some it still hasn't actually left. Every once in a while it pops out. You know, I think my sobriety is I hold my sobriety. I don't even I'm not even sure I do the steps anymore. I just sort of I sort of live them. I don't know what it is. I'd it's like wax on. You ever see that movie wax on and Wax off? You know? I mean they used to be all distinct and different, like, Oh, I think I just did a third step, oh, I have to a fourth step. Oh, I just did a fifth step, Oh, I did just did a twelve step. I just did it tense to I mean there was so they was so unusual and so different. Once I started learning what they were. I saw myself doing them all the time. Oh, I just did a third step today, I turned it over today, or I did that. And you know, after thirty years of this stuff, you don't say, Oh, I just did a third day. Just sort of live your life. You know, I was, I was I can't tell you how many times I turned something over. Somebody to take a week to turn I don't even know what you guys when they I don't even know where they use that language anymore. Where you had a problem, you kept on thinking about it, thinking about it, thinking about it, thinking about it, worrying about it, a talking to people about it, and then finally the day comes you just give up the ghosts and you turn it over to God and you put it in a God box or whatever it is, and then all of a sudden you stop worry about this is what happened about that Hounds Zuli. I turned it over. I turned it. Oh, you go through a week of hell before you get but I turned it over, and then everything sort of works out because you you, you turned it over. You know what I mean. I mean you got clawbox all over it, but you turned it over. You know, whatever happened happened. That's the kind of faith I had. I had the kind of faith where I had to kill myself and suffer for two weeks until I would turn it over because I had no choice, because I couldn't do it myself. And and you do that over and over again, what, for ten years and fifteen years and twenty years, and I don't know, maybe it takes less time to turn it over. Maybe maybe instead of taking a week to turn it over, maybe you can turn it over in like three days, you know, and you're only miserable for three days. And you say things that mean like I have been having a bad year, I've been having a bad week, I was I've been having a bad day. You know, I mean, and then you start questioning them and say bad day and you find out you had a bit at three minutes driving over to the meeting or something. You know, it's like it's like it's what a horrid life it is when you just can't live a turned over life. And then you keep on turn it over and turning it over and turn it over and one day, one day you wake up and you and and you're living it turned over life. How can I put it? One day you it's like second it's not your first nature. My first nature is to control everything and everybody and if you do something wrong, I have to kill you. That's my first nature. Okay, it's death to everybody that gets in my way. But my second nature, which almost like second nature, is sort of like do the steps automatically. It's just the way I think whatever I'm disturbing, something disturbs me, somebody disturbs me, I got to kill him for about ten seconds and all then, all of a sudden, I flip into whenever I'm disturbing, no matter what the cause, there's something wrong with me. That's the ten step spiritual axe in my flip over. How long does it take? What? How long does it take that, instead of resenting somebody and blaming somebody and hating somebody and being miserable for somebody and getting depressed because of somebody or something that's real or imagine happening? How long does it take before, when things happen to you that where you're not getting your own way, it disturbs you where you just start thinking, what's wrong with me? Why is this disturbing me?...

Instead of blaming people in hating people when do you stop blaming people, in hurting people and asking God to help you because you know there's something wrong with you, because you don't want to be disturbed? I don't know how long it takes. Took me, maybe twenty, twenty five years, you know, and I'm just telling you my story. You guys are probably much smarter than me and you'll do it faster, but that's the deal. And in somewhere, so you know. So I was always I was always making amends to people because I was always saying or doing the wrong thing. And One story about I remember I was about three years sober and I was working in a law firm and I had a and my secretary was I was sharing a secretary with the senior partner and she was a young lady from England, and very nice young lady from England named Valerie. And and one day I went up to Valerie and I wanted to dictate a letter and she was in a swivel chair by by her desk, over a over a typewriter, and they had typewriters back then. And I went up to dictate a letter and she was on the phone and and while she was on the phone, she was talking on the phone like this and she was talking to her girlfriend and she was saying things like Oh, and then we went to keep the scan, oh, and then we went on the bog and frank looked so cute and his shorts, and I'm sitting there when the dictates something, she's saying, Oh, we had such a good time, and then we went out to eat and I'm sitting there waiting to dictate something to her, and she and so finally I looked at her and I said, and I had about two years sobriety at the time, and finally I did this. I stood over and I did to sort of get her attention, and she swiveled her chair around so that she had her back to me and I heard her say this. I heard say, Doris, I'm sorry, but there's a real pest hovering over me, you know, distract in me. And at that point whatever small whatever, whatever the near of sobriety I had on me, vaporized like like Nagasaki. And I'm going to use the word you know I hate to use, but I have no other way of express it. And I went down and I looked in her face and I said, if you don't get over that. Off that fucking phone. In five seconds, I'm going to wrap the court around your fucking neck and throw you out the window. That was before we got sensitive. And Hey, guess what, guess what. She got off the phone. And I always have this disbelief that every once in a while and alcoholic should go psychotic just to let him know that there's always a possibility that could happen. You know, you know. So in any event, so she got a phone and I dictated the letter and I started walking down to my office and as I was walking down to my office, and when I was walking down to my office, in my mind I started going over what she what she said, and what I said and what she said and what she I said. She said this and I said that, and she said this and I said that, and then all of a sudden is I'm going over in my office. You know, I'm what I'm saying, and then she turned their swivel chair and I'm thinking about I'm going and then all of a sudden I heard this voice come through and it said and when we were wrong, promptly admitted and I said to my side, I knew where that was going. I knew where that sucker was going. It was going to an apology and there was no way I was going to apologize that bitch, no way I was going to apologize because she was wrong, she was dead wrong. And I kept on saying, you know, when we were wrong, promptly admitted, you know, makeup, make amends and promptly admitted. And and I was it was just driving me crazy and I had a couple of years and I don't know, I just I...

...just turned around, I went back upstairs and I went up to you, to her, and I said, I said now, I said, I want to apologize to you. I should never have said that to you and I really apologize. I was wrong and saying that to you. And she looked at me. She said, well, I apologized to you. I'm right. I was wrong too, and that was the end, you know. And and because of that, instead of being a drunk lawyer in some bar somewhere that night talking about his bitch attorney and getting drunk, I was at home with my children, you know, and so I was very familiar with the ten step, with the ten step. I was doing it all the time because I was saying stupid stuff, getting angry and screwing up all the time. So that's that's that's one of the things I think about when I think about the ten step, as I as a safety valve for young alcoholics who are constantly getting into trouble, constantly screwing up, because I have that kind of alcoholism where the craziness didn't go away right away, where every once in a while, once a day or once a week, I would just do some sort of shitty thing that was going to just drive me crazy. And believe me, it was a short drive. And so that's why I think the ten step is really important. But let me tell you what happened. What I the way I look at it now, because there's a whole different deal going on now with me, and I was constantly doing these little ten step inventories in my mind and every once in a while, if I really couldn't get rid of something, I'd have to write it out. Very often, when people call me up to talk to me about a problem they have and they're unsure, they're trying to explain to me the problem but they can't explain it. Whatever, somebody's trying to explain me the problem and they can't explain it rather than spend three hours in the phone with them. I say do me a favor, write it out, put it on a list through the fourth do the four step, the inventory list, you know, the four list and everything like that, and then come back and share list with me so we can sort of get straight exactly what's going on here. So the ten step for me, from me canical standpoint, was a very incredibly great spiritual exercise and sort of and sort of implementing the spiritual lax him. Whenever I'm disturbing, matter what the cause, there's something wrong with me, which I absolutely buy into. I don't want to I don't want to have my life depend I don't want to have my sobriety, in my peace of mind, my equanimity depend upon you check you changing or the world changing, because that ain't going to happen. That ain't going to happen. And so that's the way I sort of look the tenth step most of the time when I was younger, for the first ten or fifteen or twenty years. But I look at it a little bit differently now and I'll tell you why. And this is just I might as well share the truth somewhere along the line, after you do the tense to, after you make amends and you're constantly apologizing and going up to people and making amends, somewhere along the top of the line and you get closer, and I think it has a lot to do with increasing your conscious contact with God and wanting to grow in his image and likeness. And I think the more you grow and the more you grow on my God's image in like this, the more you, I don't know, I don't how to say how about this, the more you care about people. You know, I'm an alcoholics, so I'm selfish and I'm self centered and I'm driven by a hundred forms of fear and I step on the toes of others and they retaliate and I make decisions based upon self, which is to say I'm an alcoholic, and so I don't give a shit about anybody except myself. See, that's the real disease I have. The real disease I have is I'm so selfinvolved that I don't give a shit about anybody except myself, and that's why, I think I can't stop thinking...

...about myself. I can't stop talking about myself. You know, you know it's all about me, me, me, me. So let's stop talking about me, let's talk about you. What do you think about me? You know, I saw me, me, me, me, me, and the bottom line is, I think the closer I get to God and the more I want to be growing to his image and likeness, the more I concentrate on doing his work is really and his work is being a maximum service to other people and trying to help other people. The more I start feeling that I and the more I start sponsoring people, the more I start working with people, the more I stop worrying about myself and thinking about other people. I don't know, the and caring about other people, the less the less ice, the less time I spend trying to retaliate and hurt other people, the less time I the less time, the less time I spend feeling sorry for myself because I feel my feelings are hurt. And something that occurred to me, which is a very interesting thing. It's hard. I'll put I'll tell you what occurred to me. What occurred to me is when you are constantly making amends and you are constantly screwing up and it hurts your equitive to your peace of mind. I love that what the Apostle Paul said. I learned the secret. I learned to be content in all things. You know, I don't have to a I don't have to worry about my bank account enough to worry about what this one thinks about me or that one thinks about me. You know, my peace of mind does not depend upon the circumstances of my life. It just depends upon my circumstances of my relationship with God. When you get to the point where you where you get tired of apologize and for doing suit stupid stuff, the ten steps says that if you do it enough times, you practice something called restraint of pain and tongue, another words, you can actually get to the point where you stop doing stupid shit. And this is like amazing. This is like advanced ag I'm telling you, this is like postgraduate a. You can actually do the ten steps so so much that you stop doing stupid shit. And guess what, you don't have to wait twenty five years. If you're in AA for like ten years or fifteen, whatever did time you're in a, you will find that you will do less stupid shit at ten years then you were doing at three years. It's not that you become sinless, you just sin less, you do less stupid shit. And here's the amazing thing. I mean, this is really complex. So let me try to put it this way. When you stop hurting people and doing stupid shit, when you don't do stupid shit and hurt people, you don't have to make any amends. It's aid. I don't there's a connection. There is an actual connection. You stop doing stupid things, you stop hurting people, you actually don't have to make amends. You may wake up one day and say, man, I have make amends. I had made amends in a year. I haven't made amends in a year and you start thinking that's something wrong, and I we're going to say, oh no, I'm you know why I haven't made amends in a year? Because I haven't been doing stupid shit. You know what I mean? Well, maybe you make amends here and there, but it's nothing to speak about, you know, and you know, no big things or anything like that. And and the less, the less time you spend making a Lem ends and less time you spend doing stupid crap, the more time you experience peace and the more time you expend experience being rocking in the fourth dimension of existence, and the less disturbable you are. My spons used to say the reason I was upset all the time is because I was upsetable if you have an upsetable nature. And one of the consequences, it says, unless until an alcohol unless until an alcoholic understands the consequently understands and grasp the consequences of his alcoholism, his sobriety will be precarious of true happiness, will...

...fund none at all. And one of the things we learn in here, while being pounded, is we learned that alcoholism. We we learn actually what alcohol is really looks like. Most people in a think alcohols lism looks like not being able to drink. Well, if coholism, if your problem is a drinking problem, if that's the only problem you have, drinking, then I have a great message for you. Just stop drinking. You don't have to go to any meanings to stop drinking. Life will be wonderful. But if you have the kind of disease I have, when you stopped drinking and you realize you're crazy and you do crazy things and you hurt people and stuff like that, and even though you're not being the rest of the UI. You're sure acting stupid and you're not feeling good and you're still lonely, you know, and you feel still feeling, I have feelings of worthlessness. You may suffer from the disease of alcoholism. If you suffer from disease of alcoholism, and that's a whole different story. And and so what what happens is you work these steps over and over again and to me, the operative word in step ten, and I'm going to finish it off with this, the open the word and step ten is continued. Continue. Every time I've ever seen anybody coming to a a WHO said they drank, they drank after ten or twenty years or fifteen years, it's always because they stopped continuing. They stopped going to meetings, they stopped speaking to this sponsor, they stopped praying, they stopped meditating, they stopped, they stopped continuing. Now here's what I used to think. I used to think, well, this is no problem, I just am never going to stop going to meetings. But then I realize that those people that stopped going to meetings, at one point in time they were saying the same thing. I'll just ever stop going to means they stopped anyway. So the real question was you hear people all the time why do people drink? I stopped going to mean so you just say I'm not going to go to so here's the real question. Why do people who are sober five years or ten years stop going to meetings? Why does that happen? And for me that's where the God thing comes in, because if you lose, if the bottom line is you get all the toys back and you get the woman back or you get the man back and you get the romance back and you get well and you get wonderful and you get all those things that you want your life back and you don't have a relationship with God, or attenuous relationship with God, you start romancing the world and for us there is no middle of the road solution and we don't realize, like bought, what what Bill Wilson said, is the real problem with alcoholics is unhealthy dependencies. And instead of becoming dependent upon God, we come become dependent upon the car, we come dependent upon the woman, we come dependent upon the romance, we come dependent upon the job, we come dependent upon the money. We've come to dependent upon the world and the worldly things and we stop thinking about God's we may even say we believe in God, but the bottom line is where dependent upon the things of this world, and the bottom line is that's the first step once we turn away from God. That's the first step. And stopping going to meetings and stopped doing things you have to do because you think you got control and you think you're probably you got the power back, and then it's off to the track and you're off to drinking again. So somehow, some way, for me it's my you know, tied into my continuing this thing is the fact that the most important thing in my life is my relationship with God and in my love of God, like Gil Wilson said, the Lord has been so wonderful to me cure me of this strible disease. God. I've got to keep talking about him and tell and telling other people about him. and to the extent I depend upon God and I focus on God, I know that God wants me to go to these meetings. He wants to help another alcoholic. He wants me to try to spread the message of what, whatderful life you would have if you just turned towards him, and that's what helps me continuing and that's why I'm here. It's the only reason I'm here and why I do this stuff. Going to...

...go to zoom meetings because I will. I feel just like Gill Wilson feel. You know, the Lord's been so wonderful me, curing me of this terrible disease that I got to keep talking about and telling other people. That's what I want to do. I don't have to worry about the money in the bank and all the other stuff. First things first, seeky first, the Kingdom of God and his righteousness. All things are added on to it. It's just like my sponsor said. You make the cost for the group, the money will come in. You make the cost for the group, everything will be okay. You know, if you practice these principles, you're going to be on good relationships with everybody. So thank you very much. That's all I have to say on that deal. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

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